Professor C. June Maker_Round Table Discussion


C. June Maker is Professor Emerita in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.  While a full-time faculty member she coordinated a doctoral degree program in education of the gifted and taught courses in professional writing and early childhood education for doctoral students.  In 2015, she received the International Research Award from the World Council for Gifted and Talented Students (WCGTS). She also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters Degree by Western Kentucky University in May, 2016, in recognition of her accomplishments. She has been active in and served in leadership positions in national and international organizations for gifted children and serves on Editorial Boards for national and international journals in education of the gifted such as Gifted Education International and The Gifted Child Quarterly. She is Associate Editor for Gifted and Talented International and the International Journal of Research in Education. She has conducted research on performance-based assessments, implementation of multiple intelligences theory, and creativity development. A unique performance-based assessment, Discovering Intellectual Strengths and Capabilities while Observing Varied Ethnic Responses (DISCOVER), was developed and validated in research projects funded by the Javits Gifted and Talented Education Program, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs. It has been translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, Thai, and Arabic; researchers and practitioners in Chile, France, Hong Kong, Canada, Bahrain, Lebanon, and the United Arabic Emirates are working with her to identify gifted students using this instrument, and to conduct research on its psychometric properties. Dr. Maker has worked with children, teachers, and researchers in the US and many different countries, and has published numerous books, articles, and videos. Since 2005, her most significant curriculum design project was the integration of the DISCOVER curriculum model, Thinking Actively in a Social Context (TASC), and Problem Based Learning (PBL) to form a new model for developing problem solving in general and special classes: Real Engagement in Active Problem Solving (REAPS). She works with researchers and practitioners to implement this model in a demonstration school in New South Wales, Australia, two high schools in New Zealand, schools in the Navajo Nation and South Tucson, and in Beijing, China.  In 2014, she and her research team completed a major research review, developed recommendations for curricula for Special Schools for Gifted Students and developed a unique plan for Centers for Creativity and Innovation for King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. In another funded research project, in cooperation with the Colleges of Science and Pharmacy and the Bio5 Institute, funded by The National Science Foundation, she developed and evaluated new performance-based assessments to identify students with exceptional talent in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Her most recent research project, in collaboration with the International Namaa Association for Research and Development and the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates, is to develop a new performance-based assessment for young children (ages 4, 5, and 6) based on the Prism of Learning Model she co-authored with Usanee Anuruthwong in Thailand.

enlightenedRound Table Title:

Research Agendas and Publishing in Education of the Gifted

Round Table Description:

The main emphasis in this round table is on developing research agendas that are matched to the researcher's passion but also are original contributions to knowledge in the field of education for the gifted. For example, Dr. James Gallagher, one of the pioneers in education of the gifted, wrote a research summary commissioned by the Illinois Department of Education, which was a leading agency in at the time in providing exceptional programs for gifted and talented students, and Dr. Gallagher was a professor at the University of Illinois. In this unique synthesis, he not only reviewed key findings in several areas of study about giftedness, but he also included a "department of redundant research," which included descriptions of studies that has been done so many times they made no additional contributions to the field. Unfortunately, many researchers continue to conduct studies that he identified in this category of research 40 years ago!

The 10 points of importance are (a) identify and follow your passion; (b) develop and write a plan for long-term research; (c) become well-informed about research and people; (d) aim to fill gaps in focus, methods, and settings, (e) find collaborators, develop partnerships, work in terms; (f) find ways to integrate teaching, research, and service; (g) do high-quality research; (h) identify interested audiences and write great manuscripts; and (i) create a community of researchers. During the round table discussions, I will share my experiences and knowledge in the areas of most interest to the participants, and will encourage discussion among participants.